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FAQs for Voters

Q: What is the address for the Hamilton County Election Commission?

A: 700 River Terminal Road. Chattanooga, TN 37406

Q: What is the web address for the State of Tennessee Division of Elections?

Q: What are the functions of the Hamilton County Election Commission?

A: Registering voters. Conduct fair and impartial elections. Maintain and update voter records (change of addresses, name changes, etc….), candidates’ records (petitions, financial statements, statement of interests, etc….). Maintain and distribute election supplies (voting machines, ballots, etc….)

Q: Who may register to vote?

A: Any citizen of the United States who is or will be eighteen (18) years of age or older before the date of the next election and who is a resident of Hamilton County, Tennessee may register to vote unless disqualified under the law. T.C.A 2-2-102 and 2-2-104. Contact Us at(423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: How and where may qualified voters register?

A: Qualified voters register to vote by obtaining and completing a voter registration form and filing the form with the local county election commission. Persons may register in Tennessee in person or by mail. T.C.A. 2-2-108, 2-2-110, 2-2-115, 2-2-116, 2-2-201, and 2-2-202. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: How do you register in person?

A: Registration forms may be completed at the local county election commission office, Department of Safety (motor vehicles division), Department of Health (WIC program), Department of Human Services, Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Department of Veteran’s Affairs, public libraries, county clerk’s offices, and register of deeds offices. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: How do you register by mail?

A: Voter registration-by-mail forms may be obtained from the county election commission office, the post office, and a variety of other public offices across the state. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: When may a qualified voter register?

A: In order to participate in an election, a qualified voter must be properly registered no later than thirty (30) days before the election. The election commission office will process any by-mail voter registration form that has been postmarked at least thirty (30) days before the election. T.C.A 2-2-109. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: Do I need to register for a specific party (Republican or Democrat)?

A: No. Tennessee does not have a party registry. In a primary election, you may select either a Republican, Democrat, or General ballot. The General ballot will not list, of course, any of the party races. Conversely, the partisan ballots will have any general races or questions included in the election.

Q: I am about to become a citizen. How can I register to vote?

A: A deputy from our office always attends the naturalization ceremony at the Federal Building located in Hamilton County. You may also print the registration form from this web site or pick up a form from the Post Office, Public Library, or any Public Assistance Agency. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: Why did I receive a green card in the mail?

A: You received a green card because we have mailed some type of correspondence to your address and it has been returned to our office marked undeliverable (ex. address change, mailing address change, 911 address change). Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: I have received a green card. What should I do?

A: You should complete the form, make sure it is signed, and return it to the Hamilton County Election Commission office at your earliest convenience. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: How will I be able to vote if I reside in a nursing home?

A: The Election Commission will send deputies to each facility to allow any resident who is a registered voter and a full-time resident of a state licensed nursing home, home for the aged or similar licensed institution providing relatively permanent domiciliary care in the county of the voter’s residence. However, this will not prohibit a resident from voting during the early voting period at an early voting location or from voting at their polling place on Election Day if you prefer. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: I am a Hamilton County resident attending college outside of Hamilton County. How do I vote in a Hamilton County election?

A: First time voters must register in person in order to be eligible for an absentee ballot. Contact the election commission office to request an application for an absentee ballot. If you qualify for an absentee ballot, we will mail your ballot to your dorm or apartment outside of the county. You may read more about absentee ballots on our Absentee Voting page. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: I am a resident of another county attending college in Hamilton County. How do I vote in an election in my home county?

A: You must contact the election commission office located in your home county to request an absentee ballot be mailed to you at your Hamilton County address. If, however, you would like to change your county of residence, you may register to vote in Hamilton County (which cancels your registration in your previous county of residence) and vote during any early voting period or on Election Day. You may read more about absentee ballots on our Absentee Voting page. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: How do I request an absentee ballot if I am active duty military or a dependent?

A: If you are active duty military personnel or a dependent stationed outside your county of legal residence, a Federal Post Card Application (Form 76) is available to you through your unit’s Voting Assistance Officer, or, you may contact the election commission office to receive a form. You may read more about absentee ballots on our Absentee Voting page. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries. 

Q: How do I request an absentee ballot if I am a United States citizen currently residing overseas?

A: If you are a United States citizen living overseas, you can obtain a Federal Post Card Application (Form 76) at the nearest American Embassy, or you may contact the Election Commission office to receive a form. Please send completed Form 76 to: Hamilton County Election Commission 700 River Terminal Road Chattanooga, TN 37406 Phone: (423) 493-5100 Fax: (423) 493-5101. You may read more about absentee ballots on our Absentee Voting page.

Q: Can my absentee ballot be hand delivered to the Election Commission office?

A: No. The by-mail ballot must be received by the county election commission office through the postal mail.

Q: How do I apply for permanent absentee status?

A: Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated 2-6-201(3) (A), individuals within a prolonged sickness, hospitalization or physical disability may apply to be placed on the permanent absentee roles. A physician’s statement is required to be eligible for permanent absentee status. Your physician must sign our statement that you are medically unable to appear at your polling place and are medically unable to go to the election commission office to vote early by personal appearance. We will contact your physician with the appropriate paperwork. Once the paperwork is completed, you will be placed on the permanent absentee roles and will automatically receive an absentee ballot application for each subsequent election for which you are eligible. You may read more about absentee ballots on our Absentee Voting page. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: How do I change my address on my voter registration?

A: There are several ways you may change your address: You may bring something with your new name and new address printed on it to our office. (For example: utility bill, bank statement, credit card statement, or lease agreement.) Fill out and sign the back of your voter registration card and return by mail or bring to our office. Fill out a new voter registration application checking “Change of Address” on form, make sure you sign the application and mail it or bring to our office. You may also fax or mail address change information to us only if you include the following information: Name as registered Registration Number (if known) Date of Birth Social Security Number Old Address New Address Daytime Phone Number Signature. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: I've gotten married or divorced, what do I need to do?

A: Though not required by law, you may fill out a new voter registration application, checking “Name Change” on the application. You may mail or bring the form to our office in person. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: How do I change my given name on my voter registration?

A: You must fill out a new voter registration application accompanied by the appropriate legal documentation such as a court order. You may mail or bring the form to our office in person. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: How may I purchase data?

A: Data (to be used for political purposes ONLY) may be purchased for fourty ($40.00) dollars. Files are on CD and in a tab de-limited format to be imported into any database program. Click here for an Order Form. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: How may I purchase maps?

A: Maps (ranging in size from 8.5” x 11” to 3’ x 3’) may be purchased by contacting the Hamilton County G.I.S. department at (423) 209-7760.

Q: May I download campaign forms on-line?

A: Yes. Candidate information is available from the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance web site. Contact Us at (423) 493-5100 for specific inquiries.

Q: Do you have a list of Election Commissions in the State of Tennessee?

A: Visit the State of Tennessee Division of Elections website for a list of election commission offices located throughout the state.

Q: How can I get my rights restored if I was convicted of a felony?

A: You may click here to download the “Application for Certificate of Restoration” and contact us at (423) 493-5100 to see if you are eligible.

Q: If I have a question about something that occurs on Election Day, what should I do?

A: DON’T WAIT! Call our office immediately at (423) 493-5100 to report any concern or ask any question.